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SpaceX’s new rocket Falcon Heavy blasts off, puts sports car in space

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CAPE CANAVERAL — The world’s most powerful rocket, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, roared into space through clear blue skies in its debut test flight on Tuesday from a Florida launch site where moon missions once began, in another milestone for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private rocket service.

The 23-story-tall jumbo rocket with three boosters and 27 engines, carrying a cherry red Tesla Roadster from the assembly line of Musk’s electric car company as a mock payload, thundered off its launchpad in billowing clouds of steam and rocket exhaust at 3:45 pm (2045 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

At least 2,000 spectators cheered the blastoff from a campground near Cocoa Beach, 5 miles (8 km) from the space centre from surrounding beaches, bridges and roads, jamming the highways in scenes unmatched since NASA’s last space shuttle flight.

At SpaceX Mission Control in Southern California, employees screamed, whistled and raised pumped fists into the air as the launch commentators called off each milestone. Millions more watched online, making it the second biggest livestream in YouTube history.

Within three minutes, the Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters separated from the central rocket in one of the most critical points of the flight.

Then, capitalizing on cost-cutting reusable rocket technology pioneered by SpaceX, the two boosters flew themselves back to Earth for safe simultaneous touchdowns on twin landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, about eight minutes after launch. Each rocket unleashed a double sonic boom as it neared the landing zone.

The centre booster rocket, which SpaceX had predicted was less likely to be salvaged, slammed into the Atlantic at about 300 miles per hour (483 kph), destroying two of its thrusters and showering the deck of the nearby drone landing vessel, Musk told a post-launch news conference.

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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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